Anna Celenza

Anna Celenza is a professor at Johns Hopkins University, where she holds a joint appointment in The Writing Seminars and Musicology Department (Peabody Conservatory).  She is the author of several scholarly books, including Jazz Italian Style: From Its Origins in New Orleans to Fascist Italy and Sinatra and The Cambridge Companion to Gershwin. She has also published articles on a range of composers, from Franz Liszt and Gustav Mahler to Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, and eight award-winning childrens books, including Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite. Her current book project, Music that Changed America, is under contract with W.W. Norton.

She is the keynote speaker at Ellington 2022 and she will talk about The Duke (Ellington), the Maestro (Bernstein), and the Brewer (Schlitz).

Here is the abstract of her presentation.

“On July 2, 1966, Duke Ellington and Leonard Bernstein met for the first and only time at the home of Robert Uihlein, chairman and CEO of the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The encounter was captured on video by WTMJ-TV and reveals much about the frictions between classical music and jazz during the Civil Rights Era and the growing influence of corporate sponsorship on both genres.  Using the 28 minutes of footage as a jumping off point, this talk offers a reassessment of Bernstein’s attitudes towards jazz, a deeper look at Ellington’s attempts to rewrite the narrative of American music history, and Uihlein’s efforts to appropriate the fame of both men as part of a new marketing campaign for Schlitz Blue Ribbon Beer.”